Team Member Handbook for Teamwork
By: Lenora Milligan Salt DPM
Part 1 of 2
High quality communication
It’s not enough for the right hand to know what the left is doing. The right hand needs to know what the left intends to do. People need a keen sense of what’s planned if they are to execute with precision. There is no hope of orchestrating a coordinated team effort unless good communication precedes action.
Bring talent to the team.
Teams need talent. The more of it you bring to the group, the more you can contribute. Build your skills and in a very real sense, you are building the team. You can’t have a high-powered team with low-talent people.
Play your position
Dig up all the details on your assignment. Nail every bit of it down so you will remember it. The, play your position. It’s tough to achieve a coordinated team effort when people leave their stations…stray into someone else’s area…or just get sloppy and let thing slip through the cracks. Sometimes you need to cover for teammates, of course, since everyone needs a little help now and then.
Turn diversity to the team’s advantage.
Don’t sideline the person that is different, whether that person happens to be you, or somebody else. All too often people pull themselves out of play. Maybe because they feel like they don’t fit in. Or maybe because the look, think, or act different from the rest of the bunch. Do your part to help the team identify, and benefit from, diversity.
Back up others who need help.
The best way to put a safety net under the team’s performance is to back each other up. Anybody can make a mistake, get overloaded, or just need a helping hand. The question is will you be in a position to cover for you teammates?
It’s one thing to show up for work every day and do your job. But it’s another thing to show up for practice. To drill. To rehearse. To run through everything time after time, watching the people perform as a team pushing for better performance.
Be prepared to sacrifice for the team.
The struggle of “me versus we’ is not stranger to team members. You can expect occasional conflict between your selfish interests and what’s best for the team. Personal sacrifice is part of the price you pay for membership in the group…for team support when you need it…and, most importantly, for the trust of your teammates.
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